Adults need 7 or more hours of sleep each night for the best health and well-being. Many people do not get the enough sleep and suffer from lack of sleep. Sleep plays a critical role in immune function, metabolism, memory, learning, and other vital functions. Getting enough good quality sleep is important to maintaining good health and avoiding other serious diseases. If you don’t get a good night’s sleep, the next day you may
- Be irritable or moody
- Have memory problems or be forgetful
- Feel depressed
- Have more falls or accidents
How much sleep do I need?
|Age Group||Recommended Hours of Sleep Per Day|
|Newborn||0–3 months||14–17 hours (National Sleep Foundation)
No recommendation (American Academy of Sleep Medicine)
|Infant||4–12 months||12–16 hours per 24 hours (including naps)|
|Toddler||1–2 years||11–14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)|
|Preschool||3–5 years||10–13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)|
|School Age||6–12 years||9–12 hours per 24 hours|
|Teen||13–18 years||8–10 hours per 24 hours|
|Adult||18–60 years||7 or more hours per night|
|61–64 years||7–9 hours|
|65 years and older||7–8 hours|
Above is the sleep chart by age, recommended by CDC.
Know the sleep-related disorders:
Insomnia: Insomnia is an inability to initiate or maintain sleep. It may take the form of early morning awakening resulting in daytime drowsiness. Symptoms include difficulty falling or staying asleep and not feeling well-rested. Treatment consists of improving sleep habits, behavior therapy, and identifying underlying cause. Most of the cases of insomnia are related to poor sleep habits, depression, anxiety, lack of exercise, chronic illness, and certain medications.
Narcolepsy: It is also called excessive uncontrollable daytime sleepiness. The cause might involve genetic factors and abnormal signaling of the brain. The healthcare provider treats narcolepsy with stimulant medications combined with behavioral interventions such as regularly scheduled naps, to minimize the potential disruptiveness on individual’s life.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS): RLS is an unpleasant “creeping” sensation, often feeling like it is originating in the lower legs, but often associated with aches, and pains throughout the legs. Irresistible urge to move the legs is its main symptom. Self-care steps, lifestyle changes, and medications help to prevent it.
Sleep Apnea: A serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Symptoms include snoring loudly and feeling tired even after a full night’s sleep. It can be treated by changing lifestyle like weight loss and use of breathing assistance device.
Treatment should be sought from a healthcare providers for all of the above mentioned sleep-related disorders.
Tips for Getting a Good Night's Sleep:
- Be consistent, try going to bed at same time each night and getting up at the same time each morning including weekends and vacations.
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature.
- Try to avoid watching TV or using a computer, cell phone or tablet in the bedroom. The light from these devices may make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
- Use low lighting in the evenings. Eliminate the ambient light in your bedroom like light from clock radio, cell phone, windows etc. Try blackout shades and/or a night mask to block excess light.
- Avoid large meals, caffeinated drinks, and alcohols before bedtime. If you are hungry at night, eat a light, healthy snack.
- Reduce your fluid intake before bedtime.
- Get some exercise during daytime. This can help you fall asleep more easily at night.
- Avoid napping during the day time. No matter how tired you are during the day, try to resist napping. Napping might result in poor nighttime sleep.
- Enjoy a warm relaxing bath or shower prior to bedtime.